Wednesday 16 January 2019

3 Healthy Delicious Alternatives to your Favourite Lunches

Do you take time to stop for lunch every day?

Lunch time is a natural break in the day and a good opportunity to catch up with colleagues, get some fresh air or just take a rest from screens.

There are many health benefits to stopping, even briefly, during the working day and you’ll benefit even further when it comes to time and money and nutrition if you put a little time in to thinking about your lunch choices for the week. 

By making a few simple swaps, you can really add variety to your lunchtime, so why not think about swapping your sandwich for a more interesting cheesy roll-up; bring in your own delicious soup rather than getting something shop-bought and make your own more vibrant salad rather than queuing at the deli counter. 

Rice is the best starting point and its nutritional value will ensure that you are looking after yourself well and getting a head start on 2018!

Here are 3 delicious alternatives to your favourite lunches:

1. Swap Your Sandwich for a Cheesy Roll-Up

Black beans, chicken breast and lots of cheese! This tasty roll-up beats a sandwich any day of the week.


1 once pouch of Uncle Ben’s Ready to Heat Rice (Golden Vegetable)

1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

6 ounces of fully cooked oven roasted diced chicken

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

8 flour tortillas

2 tablespoons salsa (optional)


1. Prepare Uncle Bens Ready to Heat Golden Vegetable rice according to package instructions.

2. Top each tortilla with 2-3 tablespoons of rice, 1-2 tablespoons of black beans, 4-6 cubes of chicken breast and 2-4 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Add 1-2 tablespoons of salsa if desired. Fold tortilla in half or roll burrito style and heat in microwave for about 30 seconds for each individual burrito.


2. Soup it up

2. Bring in your own soup.png

Rather than queuing up for soup and a sandwich why not make your own in advance. This delicious, hearty, savoury Chorizo sausage, rice and bean soup is a perfect warmer-upper that’s mouth watering and moreish.  It can be refrigerated so it’s perfect to pre-prepare.


1 pound ground chorizo sausage (or favourite flavoured sausage)

1 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic (2 cloves)

1 (32 ounce) carton low-sodium chicken broth (4 cups)

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes (diced or whole)

1 cup diced zucchini (half inch x half inch)

1 cup frozen roasted corn (or plain frozen corn)

Three quarters cup of Uncle Bens Boil in Bag Wholegrain 500g

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Half cup shredded parmesan cheese.


1. Prepare Uncle Bens Boil in Bag Wholegrain rice according to package instructions.

2. Brown the sausage on the medium heat for ten to twelve minutes

3. Add the onion and garlic.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the onion has softened (4 to 5 minutes)

4. Add the remaining ingredients, except the parmesan cheese.

5. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for 12 to 15 minutes

6. Scoop into individual bowls and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese.  Refrigerate leftovers.


3. A Stand-Out Salad

3. Wild Rice Salad.png

How does a Wild Rice Salad with smoked almonds sound for lunch? It can be hard to find a tasty shop-bought salad that’s a bit different and making your own to bring in to work is really simple and will be much more enjoyable. This recipe features crisp lettuce, dried cranberries, almonds and goats cheese – it’s a good vegetarian option.


1 tablespoon butter

Half cup celery, chopped small

1 box Uncle Bens Loose Long Grain 500g

2 quarter cups water

2 tablespoons prepared balsamic vinaigrette

Half cup smoked almonds, slivered

Half cup dried cranberries

Half cup chopped green onions

Quarter cup crumbled goat cheese

2 cups romaine lettuce



1. In a saucepan with a tight fitting lid, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add celery and saute until soft, about two minutes. Add rice and saute one minute more.

2. Add water with seasoning packet from rice to pan.  Cover, bring to the boil and reduce heat to simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes or until water is absorbed.

3. Remove rice from heat, pour onto a cookie sheet and cover loosely. Place cooked rice in refrigerator for two hours or overnight to cool.

4. Once rice has cooled, dress with balsamic vinaigrette and add remaining ingredients.

For more delicious healthy meal ideas that are quick and easy to prepare, go to

* Evaluation of impact of Rice Consumption, An Analysis of the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004


Sponsored by: Sage

Online Editors

Most Read on Twitter